Devil May Cry Reviews online.
From the game of the same name, Devil May Cry (The Animated Series) introduces Dante (half-human half-demon) who hunts and disposes of devils as a bounty hunter. I haven’t had the experience of playing the game (fortunately in my view from what I’ve read about it) so I can’t compare how the anime stacks up with the settings established in the game. The first few episodes introduce the main cast for those who may not be aware of the background: Dante, Patty, Lady, Trish, and others. Dante is the bad-ass aloof hero with either a gun or a big sword and a liking for strawberry sundaes, beer, and pizza; Patty is the cutesy brat; Lady is attractive, wholly self-absorbed and is usually seen with guns or heavy armaments; Trish is blond, also attractive, arrogant and plays with lightning. There is a story, sort of. In each episode Dante has a job to carry out which usually ends up with a devil or other monster being taken out of action — permanently. And that’s about it. Most of the story focuses on Dante, and the rest of the cast get snippits of story time. Characters have little bits of development as the story progresses, but still appear superficial (any character aside for Dante fits in this category); while Dante just remains a bad-ass. I guess having an appreciation of the game would be useful when getting into this series. Despite the action (some of which I felt was over-the-top but is apparently in keeping with the game), I found this series just didn’t entertain me.
Visually, though, there is nothing to criticise here. The series is presented in a widescreen anamorphic 1.78:1 aspect. Action scenes are well-detailed and fast with plenty of blood. There are also plenty of slow-motion dramatic shots when in close combat. Character designs are as one would expect: Dante is tall, muscular, with silver hair. Lady and Trish both look pleasant enough. The monsters just look nasty but seem to get repetitive after a while. In short, the visuals work well for the style of the story.
Primary listening was with the Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital track. An English 5.1 track is also on the disc. Characters’ voices met my expectations with Dante’s voice being cold and aloof; while Lady and Trish were brash and cocky. What music there is goes well with the action and, where appropriate, comes across dark and gritty. The opening theme has a heavy rock character with lots of distortion — quite appropriate for a show of this type. The closing theme is a soft ballad. Nothing to complain about here, but nothing overly special either.
Extras include an interview with Dante’s seiyuu, Toshiyiki Morikama; some cut-scenes from the game Devil May Cry 4 (potential spoiler alert); E3 presentation in 2007; promos for the anime; clean opening and closing; and trailers for other Madman titles.
Bottom line: Very violent, some of it quite graphic, with a lot of supernatural themes; monsters (and people) being killed in action-filled and graphic scenes, blood flowing by the truck-load, you’ll probably get the idea early on. There were what I’d call lighter episodes where the action gave way to an actual story, but they were few and far between. Mostly it was “kill the monster of the week” episode after episode. This series had a hard time appealing to me personally; and I was actually quite pleased to finish it quickly. Barely worth three stars for, what was to me, a mediocre story that relied on plenty of violence (not action) with shallow characters, mitigated only by a pretty decent visual presentation and adequate soundtrack.